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Bernard Arnault Biography – Louis Vuitton CEO

The luxury conglomerate Louis Vuitton or LVMH (headquartered in Paris, France) earned its name from the merger between fashion brand Louis Vuitton and wines and spirits company Moët Hennessy in 1987. It is an empire of 75 renowned brands today headed by the French businessman Bernard Arnault as chairman and chief executive. Louis Vuitton CEO Bernard is also on the list of wealthiest people on the planet sharing the space with Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and Warren Buffett. People know him for his love for art collection and as a discerning investor too.

Bernard has been at the helm of Louis Vuitton since 1989 and is the largest stakeholder in the company. From the time he took the reins, he led several acquisitions of luxury brands in diverse areas, driving large-scale successes. One of them includes $15.8 billion deal with the finest American jewelry makers Tiffany & Co. in 2021, touted to be the biggest acquisitions in the luxury goods field ever. Besides, he added other top-rated companies like Sephora (personal care and beauty products), Christian Dior (fashion), Bulgari (Italian jewelry brand), Fendi (fashion), and Veuve Clicquot (champagne), etc.

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While his acute business acumen is a no surprise, it can be interesting to learn that Arnault tours about 25 stores (including competitors’) once every week, most likely on Saturdays. After Mexico’s Carlos Slim, he is another non-American to dominate the Forbes’ billionaires list, which was otherwise ruled by the US citizens Gates, Buffett, Bezos, and Musk for a large part of two decades.

Louis Vuitton Competitors | CEO Email Address & Contact

The largest shareholder of LVMH, Bernard Arnault is not there on social media. But you could try writing to him on email at [email protected]

LVMH has six business interests, including Fashion & Leather Goods, Wines & Spirits, Watches & Jewelry, Perfumes & Cosmetics, Selective Retailing, etc. Under these business groups, you can find multiple brands, such as Givenchy, TAG Heuer, Christian Dior, and so on. LVMH has become 15 times more valuable as a business in the past 11 years with its sales and profits jumping by fivefold under the supervision of Arnault. His decentralization efforts and focus on brands’ heritage value have been the anchors of his successes. He ensured that every company maintained its individuality even after becoming a part of LVMH group.

Let’s now find out some of his competitors in the luxury goods segment:

  • Estée Lauder
  • Richemont
  • Kering 
  • Prada
  • Chanel

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Bernard Arnault’s Net Worth & Salary

Arnault has a net worth of around $196 billion. As per sources, he has 96.5% stake in the holding company Christian Dior SE, which holds about 41% shares of LVMH. Like other billionaires, LVMH CEO Arnault owns a private jet and a 333 ft yacht Symphony. He has a luxurious vacation villa in Saint-Tropez, the French Riviera. His portfolio of residential properties in Los Angeles, Trousdale Estates, Beverly Hills, and in the vicinity of Hollywood Hills is estimated to be worth $96.4 million. Besides, everyone is aware of his passion for modern and contemporary art. In his collection, you can find the works of Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol, Damien Hirst, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Henry Moore, and Maurizio Cattelan.

He joined hands with French bank Lazard Frères and Co.’s managing partner Antoine Bernheim to raise $80 million to buy a bankrupt textile company called Boussac Saint-Frères, which owned Christian Dior. Of the total amount, Arnault paid $15 million from his own pocket to get the deal. After this, his journey with LVMH started.

In 1987, LVMH’s chairman Henri Racamier sought funding from Arnault. He formed a joint venture with a leading brewery company Guinness PLC to invest in LVMH and dethroned Racamier. He slowly started adding leading companies to fortify LVMH group. These companies included Christian Lacroix, Givenchy, and Kenzo from fashion; Loewe, Céline, and Berluti from leather goods; Fred Joailler from jewelry; Sephora from beauty; and the DFS group, etc.

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Dubbed as the “Pope of Fashion,” Arnault eventually made LVMH one of the worlds’ biggest luxury conglomerates. His business vision and triumphs earned him another epithet “the wolf in the cashmere coat.” And he clearly owns all these titles.

Arnault’s Career & Education – Company, University, & College

Bernard Arnault began his professional journey as an engineer working at the family-run construction business Ferret-Savinel. He climbed up several executive management posts to eventually become company’s Chairman in 1978. He continued to serve it till 1984. Then, he bought luxury goods company Financière Agache and became the CEO. Later, he got busy with Christian Dior. Sailing through all these, he eventually got control of the leading luxury products group Louis Vuitton. He holds the positions of CEO and Chairman at the company. Besides, he also presides over the board of his family-run holding company Groupe Arnault S.E.

Arnault attended Lycée Maxence Van Der Meersch, Roubaix and the Lycée Faidherbe, Lille. He completed his engineering degree from the École Polytechnique. 

Bernard Arnault Wiki – Age, Wife, Family, & More

LVMH Chairman and CEO Bernard’s birthplace is Roubaix, France. He was born on 5 March 1949. The 72 years old luxury goods business tycoon is the son of Jean Léon Arnault (a manufacturer) and Marie-Josèphe Savinel. His mother Marie-Josèphe gave the responsibility of the civil engineering company Ferret-Savinel that was owned by her father to her husband. Jean managed the company and eventually, became the owner too. Later, the company was renamed to Ferinel and then the George V Group. 

Arnault has five children from two marriages. His ex-wife was Anne Dewavrin. Later, he married to a concert pianist Helene Mercier in 1991. They say he won the heart of his pianist wife by playing classical compositions by Chopin and others. The couple lives in Paris. His four children are actively involved in the family business, except the youngest son Jean.

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Bernard Arnault and his wife are also known for their generous philanthropic contributions. They paid $222 million toward the restoration work of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. The famous Gothic cathedral was devastated by fire on April 15, 2019. They also offered $11 million to combat Amazon wildfires the same year under G7 initiative.

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